Did you do premarital counseling?
Do you wish you would have?
Would you benefit from marriage counseling now?
Funny how counseling is seen as a last resort. But with a commitment as huge as marriage, why not get some outside help?
Find some people that are doing marriage well and take them to dinner and ask them their secrets. I am POSITIVE that they have some good advice for you. Good marriages don’t just happen, they take work. So even if you get some knowledge and wisdom on HOW to do it… you’ve still have to DO it.
I remember Jess and I taking a couple out and asking them about marriage. As we settled into the booth at the restaurant and were small talking, the husband blurts out: “All of your fights are going to be over two things… sex and money.” His wife embarrassedly swatted at him, but he just looked back and her and asked… Am I right? And she shook her head in agreement. I think that is our most memorable marriage advice moment.
Jess and I recently got asked to do some premarital counseling for a couple that met in Hawaii a few years ago.
Thank God for the interwebs, the couple are in different locations right now, and we’re in a different location from them, so a lot of these sessions will be done over e-mail and skype.
The two resources that I always recommend for marriage counseling are:
Each chapter is broken up into a theme, and then you are given questions to answer and compare notes. We suggest couples just ask the question together and discuss it. A lot of them will be no brainers, but there are questions that you may not have thought of or discussed.
I was at a Danny Silk conference this weekend and he spoke about how marriage is the blending of two family cultures. He went on to say that there has to be communication about which culture is going to be adopted on certain issues, or if you’re going to create a new way of doing things within your new family. He actually wrote a book for engaged couples called Defining The Relationship, I haven’t read it, but I have read some of his other books, so I assume its well done and very practical.
We assume things will be done the way it’s always been done. Problems arise when both parties are assuming something is going to happen their way. Thats why this book is such a great resource. It causes you to have the conversation before the emotionally charged event happens.
I once gave this to a woman who was struggling in her marriage. She committed to only reading the woman’s portion of the book, she didn’t want to read what the man was suppose to do and get upset because he wasn’t doing it. And she says it saved her marriage.
This book plainly spells out what women and men want and need. The revolutionary (except, the Apostle Paul wrote about it like 2000 years ago) concept that men receive love through respect is huge.